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The story of ‘Helios’ is a cautionary tale
To mind your own business or you might make an enemy, that when you mess with love, and in particular the goddess of love, hearts will be broken, explains why mortals should not get involved in the affairs of the gods, and why roosters crow when the sun rises. Spoiler alert – it has nothing to do with Colonel Saunders.
You would think a hard working sun god
Who is busy all day pulling the sun through the sky would not have much time for trouble, but you would be wrong. Sure, it must have been a lonely job working everyday all alone, making it difficult to develop deep friendships and relationships with other gods. But if you are Helios, always watching from the outside, you also see many things happening that others don’t, like the abduction of Persephone by Hades.
Aphrodite, goddess of love implored her husband Hephaestus to spend less time in his forge and more time with her. Her pleas fell on deaf ears, and to make matters worse he would often not shower after his long days working in the heat. She often wondered why she as such a beautiful goddess would be stuck with a sweaty, smelly workaholic.
Her marriage was not something that would deter her
From finding some solace in the arms of a more powerful god like Ares. Ares, god of war and Aphrodite were having a secret affair, but of course Helios saw them and could not resist sharing the news with Hephaestus, who caught them with an invisible net during their next rendezvous.
Aphrodite and Ares were not yet deterred from their hook-ups. So when Hephaestus told his wife he was going to be away for awhile, they seized the opportunity to meet. Ares did not want to get caught again, as Hephaestus was his brother and he did not want to strain family relationships even more, so he enlisted the help of a young mortal name Alectryon to stand guard.
Now most of you know
Sure enough, Hephaestus caught the two lovers again. Poor Alectryon was turned into a rooster – which is why roosters crow when they see the sun coming up. Try not to think of that the next time you roast a chicken for dinner!
And the namesake of our vase would not get off lightly.
Aphrodite would create enchantments causing Helios to fall in love with a mortal princess. She also made sure that Helios’ previous lover found out about his new romantic entanglement. A story that would not end well and would be told another day.